Mark Barnes

Education Is Coming Full Circle

Posted in Classroom strategies, Impact on Education, Recent Events by Mark Barnes on March 8, 2010

According to eSchool News, the government has released its National Educational Technology Plan, which calls for sweeping edtech reform. Or does it?

As eSchool News reports:

“The plan, called “Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology,” calls for engaging and empowering learning experiences for all students; standards and assessments that measure key 21st-century skills and expertise; a shift to a model of “connected teaching,” in which teams of interconnected educators replace solo classroom practitioners; always-on connectivity that is available to students and teachers both inside and outside of school; and a rethinking of basic assumptions, such as seat time, that limit schools’ ability to innovate.”

Maybe I’m missing something, but when I started teaching 18 years ago, we worked in academic teams that functioned  precisely as the plan outlines above.

We used interdisciplinary learning, team- and co-teaching and used the connectivity mentioned above.

Granted, our technology was not what it is today, but we did have technology and used it.

“Reform” may be the wrong word

None of this is to suggest that the plan is not important and that this is not what we should be doing in education. It just seems to me that rather than reforming, we may just be coming back full circle.


Can the Apple iPad revolutionize education technology?

Posted in Gadgets, Teaching Tools by Mark Barnes on January 28, 2010

According to Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, it’s neither a smart phone nor a laptop. The Apple iPad, however, may be the sort of revolutionary technology that changes the classroom forever.

With education technology evolving faster than Usein Bolt in a 100-meter dash, it seems that every week there is some new tool or application for teachers to integrate into the classroom.

The iPad, though, may be just what the teacher assigned ordered. If the iPad delivers what Jobs promises, eBooks might become more popular than ever, and a giant leap toward eliminating paper text could be made. At just $499 per unit, putting the iPad in students’ hands is just a technology grant or two away.

We’ll know more about the success of the iPad when it hits stores in a few months; I, for one, hope Steve Jobs delivers as well as he usually does.

Previewing the eTech Ohio Ed Tech Conference

Posted in classroom web site, Conferences, Teaching Tools, Web 2.0 by Mark Barnes on January 16, 2010

On February 1, I’ll be presenting The New Paperless Classroom at the eTech Ohio Educational Technology Conference at the Columbus Convention Center.

In what promises to be a thrilling presentation (shameless self-promotion), I hope to make it clear just how powerful a classroom web site, complete with individual student web sites, can be.

If you can’t attend, never fear; you can take a look at what I plan to present.

Just click this Slide Rocket presentation link, and enjoy the show.

Be sure to e-mail me at mark@thepaperlessclassroom, if you have any questions.